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News stories tagged with "shipping"

The fact is the Seaway is closed three months a year. Even then, it has to compete against rail rates.

Industry analyst skeptical of Seaway container growth

We heard St. Lawrence Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson talk about bringing "containers" into the Seaway. Those are the norm of international commerce - all-purpose boxes that fit on ships, trucks, and trains. They can carry anything from paper clips to teddy bears to computers.

Seaway officials have trumpeted container traffic as a huge growth opportunity for the better part of a decade. Yet the infrastructure's still not in place. Few, if any, Great Lakes ports have the cranes to off-load containers.

Todd Moe reports at least one industry analyst is skeptical.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson (left) poses with other industry leaders as the first freighter of the season enters the St. Lambert lock.

Seaway burnishes "green" profile

Last week, the first freighter of the year rumbled up the St. Lawrence River. That marked the 53rd season of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a man-made channel linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

The Seaway's billion dollars of commerce is mostly an economic conversation between Canada's southern coast, America's Midwest, and the far-flung ports of the world.

But it's caused vast environmental damage in the North Country and across the Great Lakes, largely via invasive species.

David Sommerstein went to the Seaway's opening ceremony last week in Montreal. He sends this report on the Seaway's delicate balance between the economy and the environment.  Go to full article
The Avonberg carries wind turbine blades through St. Lambert lock in Montreal
The Avonberg carries wind turbine blades through St. Lambert lock in Montreal

Seaway projects cargo increase

St. Lawrence Seaway officials are forecasting a cargo increase over last year. The first freighter of the 2011 shipping season rumbled through the locks in Montreal on Tuesday. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The <em>Hermann Schoening</em> [Photo from Erie Shipping News blog]
The Hermann Schoening [Photo from Erie Shipping News blog]

Aboard a cold Seaway ship with a sick crew

Twenty-two Chinese seamen are resting up in Montreal after a harrowing Christmas journey through the St. Lawrence Seaway. The crew aboard the German-owned Hermann Schoening became violently ill after phosphine gas leaked into the living and working spaces. The gas is used regularly as a fumigant to kill pests in the cargo hold. The freighter is carrying 19,000 tons of midwestern corn bound for Algeria.

The crew was treated at a hospital in Ontario. But the ship then continued on with windows open to air out the gas.

Don Metzger piloted the freighter from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River to Massena. He's been a Seaway pilot for more than 30 years. He told David Sommerstein he's never seen anything like this happen before. Metzger says the crew was sick and cold, and unprepared for winter weather.
Carolyn Osbourne of the Mariners House of Montreal says the crew spent yesterday recovering after being sickened by phosphine gas. She says they received a second hospital checkup, as well as warm coats, gloves, and Christmas gifts while in port. The ship was scheduled to resume its travels this morning.

An official with Transport Canada says the incident is under investigation. The shipowners could be fined if violations of the Canada Shipping Act are found. But the gas leak is so far being considered an anomaly.  Go to full article
Bruce Power's nuclear power plant on Lake Huron
Bruce Power's nuclear power plant on Lake Huron

Groups raise alarm over shipping nuclear waste on Seaway

A coalition is trying to stop a nuclear plant from shipping low-level radioactive waste to Sweden by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Bruce Power operates North America's largest nuclear power plant northwest of Toronto. The company says its plan is safe and good for the environment. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Laker spills fuel near Montreal; Seaway closed

Emergency response teams continue to clean up a fuel spill in a canal of the St. Lawrence River near Montreal. A Canadian ship leaked at least 50 tons of bunker fuel when it ran aground Monday night. Environment officials say they believe most of the oil has been contained. But it's unclear exactly how much leaked into the waterway. It's the second time in as many weeks a ship has run aground on the St. Lawrence Seaway. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Crews re-float Canadian freighter

Coast Guard crews shifted ballast and cargo to re-float the Canadian freighter, Algobay, last night. The 740-foot long ship lost power Sunday morning and ran aground on Superior Shoal, near Chippewa Bay. That's not far downriver from where an oil tanker ran aground in 1976. The 1976 spill, known locally as the Slick of '76, remains one of the biggest inland oil spills in the country's history.

A spokeswoman for the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority said there was no threat of fuel leaks or other pollution from the Algobay. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
A dock in Morristown last month, posted by Susan Steffen LaRue to Save the River's Facebook page.
A dock in Morristown last month, posted by Susan Steffen LaRue to Save the River's Facebook page.

Thousand Islands boaters nervous as water level dips

The sun and warm temperatures are starting to bring boaters back to the St. Lawrence River. But especially in the Thousand Islands, they're being greeted by unusually low water levels. A dry winter and warm spring across the Great Lakes is mostly to blame. But that hasn't stopped lawmakers on both sides of the border from clamoring for a new system for controlling water flows. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Photo by Janet Sullins/Save the River.
Photo by Janet Sullins/Save the River.

Save The River prods Seaway for transparency

Save the River, based in the Thousand Islands, wants the St. Lawrence Seaway to make public how it decides when to open the waterway every spring. The environmental group has filed a legal petition with the federal government. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Great Lakes states push for federal action against Asian carp

The invasive Asian carp and its potentially devastating impact on the Great Lakes were the focus of a Congressional hearing in Washington yesterday.

The agressive fish has already infested the Mississippi River basin, and traces of its genetic material have been found in Lake Michigan for the first time.

Illinois temporarily closed navigational locks near Chicago to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Representatives of the states surrounding the lakes are pressing the federal government to do more, faster. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

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